Disney CEO Bob Iger didn’t appear on CNBC immediately after the company released June quarter earnings — which was the first hint that something was amiss. And the report was, indeed, mixed at least relative to Wall Street’s expectations, sending shares down about 2% in after hours trading.
The company reported $2.48 billion in net income, up 10.6% vs the period last year, on revenues of $13.10 billion, up 5.1%. The top line was short of the consensus forecast for $13.23 billion. But earnings at $1.45 a share beat expectations for $1.42.
Iger says he’s “very pleased with our performance” in the company’s fiscal third quarter. “The strong results across our many diverse lines of business demonstrate the power of our unparalleled brands, franchises and creative content.”
Before the earnings report, Disney shares touched an all-time high of $122.48. The stock’s value has appreciated 29% in 2015.
The Media Networks, which include ESPN, topped the Street’s forecasts with $2.08 billion in operating income, up 7%, on $4.14 in revenue, up 5%. Ad sales fell, especially without the boost it had last year from the FIFA World Cup, although that also helped to keep programming costs flat. The company collected higher fees from cable and satellite companies.
The Broadcasting unit, with ABC, was fell short of analysts’ forecasts with $300 million in operating income, down 15%, and revenues of $1.63 billion, up 4%. Disney attributes the weakness to higher programming costs and lower ad sales — especially in news and daytime — partly offset by higher affiliate fees.
Parks and Resorts suffered from the strong dollar as it reported $922 million in operating income, up 9%, with revenues of $4.13 billion, up 4%. Domestic attendance and spending improved. But attendance fell at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, while operating costs rose there and at Disneyland Paris. The company also reported higher pre-opening expenses at Shanghai Disney Resort.
Studio Entertainment put on a good show, though, with help from Avengers: Age Of Ultron. The unit had $472 million in operating income, up 15%, with revenues of $2.04 billion, up 13%. Many analysts thought they’d see a writedown for Tomorrowland, but Disney didn’t take one.
Consumer Products continued to benefit from Frozen, as well as Avengers and Star Wars. Operating inccome was up 27% to $348 million on revenues of $954 million, up 9%.